Copyright 1995 ABC-CLIO. This review was taken from the ABC-CLIO Video Rating Guide for Libraries on CD-ROM, a 5-year compilation of over 8900 video titles and reviews, 1990-1994. For information regarding order VRGL CD-ROM, contact: ABC-CLIO, P.O. Box 1911, Santa Barbara, CA 93116-1911; 805-968-1911

This following text has been included in the UCB Media Resources Center Web site with the kind permission of the publishers.

Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media

  • Rating: ****
  • Audience: High School to Adult
  • Price: Home use: $199.00
  • Date: Copyright 1992. Released 1994.
  • Descriptors: Chomsky, Noam. Political science. Mass media.
  • Production Information: Live action. Produced by Mark Achbar, Peter Wintonick, Adam Symarsky. Directed by Mark Achbar, Peter Wintonick. Sponsored by National Film Board of Canada. Videos: 2 . Color. Also available in 16 mm. Closed captioned. 95, 72 min.
  • Production Company: Necessary Illusions National Film Board of Canada
  • Available from: Zeitgeist Films 247 Centre St., 2nd Floor New York, NY 10013 (212) 274-1989
  • Cataloging: ||Chomsky, Noam - Interviews||Journalism - History and criticism||United States - Politics and government
  • Print Entry #: 5:1065
  • Reviewer: Mark Learman

    Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media provides a forum wherein noted critic Noam Chomsky expresses how he thinks the media actively provide a disservice to the citizens of the world. This award-winning program, produced by the National Film Board of Canada, took five years to make.

    The program does an excellent job revealing insights on Chomsky's views about how the media operate. It consists of footage of Chomsky's interviews with various radio and television stations at the time they occurred. The clips span 20 years or so, and the video does an excellent job of putting these clips together. The result is that the viewer gets to see Chomsky with different people and in different settings, while at the same time getting a very coherent view of Chomsky's opinions from Chomsky himself. A wide variety of such social commentators as Michel Foucault, Bill Moyers, and William F. Buckley are interviewed as well as reporters from a college newspaper and a small radio station. It is quite apparent that a lot of thought and effort was used to successfully pull this technique off.

    Another successful effort appears when footage from the present day is laid over a soundtrack to an old Movietone-type newsreel. The paternal and optimistic tone of the announcer combined with the present-day footage provides the viewer with an excellent example of how the media can distort an issue. Yet another plus to this production is that opponents to Chomsky's views appear as well. These clips are also from interviews of his detractors as they appeared at the time. While the program focuses on Chomsky and his opinions of the media, his detractors are given ample space and provide balance. Whatever viewers think of Chomsky's views, they will certainly find him engaging and thought provoking.

    This program is well worth watching, both for content and production values.

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